Sure. I can play golf. I can do all kinds of things. I can cook too! Yeah, that’s right. I can cook too. I know just the right buttons to hit on the microwave. All of these things, many of us would say we can do, but how well do we do them? My wife will get in the kitchen and come out with this bountiful feast. I can spend the same amount of time and produce “blackened” pancakes…don’t worry about it. It is a cajun thing.
I have been playing golf for more than 25 years, but I am not any better today than I was right after I started. I can go out there on any given day and play a round of golf, but really and truly, I can’t play. I have a keen ability to hit my ball in such a way that it is able to find water anywhere on the course. I have hit the ball backward before. And it wasn’t that long ago. My point is that there are some things that I can say I do, but I am really not doing them well. Love is the same way.
When we look at the people closest to us, we say to them, “I love you.” But then we will turn around and treat them worse than an enemy. It’s amazing what we will do in anger towards those we love the most. And I am not saying we don’t love them. We do. We have a very deep emotional bond with them. Our love for them, however, doesn’t keep us from not loving them in certain moments or situations. Love is not just an emotion. It is also a skill. And that brings us to the Verse of the Day:
1 Corinthians 13:4-5
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;
This is how you love. This is God’s definition of love. Let’s analyze it a bit. If you are babysitting a two-year-old and the kid is driving you crazy, you can work on being more patient. But if patience is love and patience is a skill I can improve on, then love is also a skill. It is an emotion, but also a skill. We have a deep emotional attachment and affection on one level, but on the other, there is always room for improvement in our ‘love’ skill. To develop a skill, you have to work at it so that means that love requires hard work. It’s hard to be patient when someone is acting like an idiot. It’s hard to be kind when the other person is hurling insults at you day and night. It is hard to not get irritated when the other person has a difficult personality. But, in the moments when our behavior does not match up with the principles in 1 Corinthians 13:4-5, we have stopped loving well. It is not that we don’t love them, but in that moment, we have stopped loving well.
Actions speak louder than words and our behavior sends a strong message. We can tell someone all day every day that we love them, but if we lose it with them every time they do something wrong, they will not feel loved. Their focus is on our temper, not our words. We have to learn how to love better.
How well are you loving?